So I saw the “Early Bird” showing of Amazing Spider-Man this morning and I thought it was just that. Amazing. If you were a fan of the Sam Raimi series of films and you’re on the fence about seeing this one, I can assure you you’ll enjoy this film. If you don’t really care for the Raimi films and you’re in the camp that wanted Peter Parker to be a little more suave and likeable post-Spider bite, this movie is also for you.
Anyone who knows me pretty well knows that Spider-Man actually ties with Superman as being my all-time favorite superhero character. The thing that I always loved about Spider-Man was that he was more relatable than most comic book heroes in that he had the same problems we’ve all struggled with at one point. If you’ve ever been fired (or in my case laid-off) from a job or you’ve struggled doing freelance work (something I also have experience with) and you’ve lost loved ones and have been labeled a “nerd” or an outcast or a “loner” you can identify with Peter/Spider-Man’s problems and that’s something that’s always made Spider-Man more accessible than your Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent kind of characters. In life we all want to be Superman but the thing is, we’re all more like Spider-Man, the ultimate underdog.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the Raimi/Maguire Spider-Man films and I always thought Tobey Maguire was a great Spider-Man but I’ll be honest and admit I never cared much for his portrayal of Peter Parker. Peter Parker has always been portrayed as a “science nerd” in each incarnation of Spider-Man (be it comics, cartoons or other media) but some adaptations forget that he actually becomes a suave, more confident and popular guy after he becomes Spider-Man and that’s one of the essential parts of the character in my eyes. While Maguire portrayed the “science nerd” version of Parker very well, he never really gave us Spider-Man fans the more confident, charming, wisecracking Peter that Andrew Garfield portrays wonderfully in Amazing Spider-Man. Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of Mary-Jane Watson was also a disappointment and the chemistry between Maguire and Dunst was never as believable as it should of been.
The chemistry between Peter and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), however, is really great and it helps to enhance the overall appeal and likeability of the film. Martin Sheen, Sally Field and Denis Leary also give solid and believable performances as Ben Parker, May Parker and Captain Stacy respectively.
Overall my only real complaint about the reboot is the portrayal of Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard (Rhys Ifans). As great as Spider-Man is in the Raimi films, I’ve always felt that the Spider-Man villains were portrayed in too cartoonish of a manner and the reboot suffers that same problem. While Harry Osborn/New Goblin (James Franco) had some depth and a good story arc in the original trilogy, the other villains were a little too one-dimensional and hammy and this seems to be a recurring issue with the way that the Lizard is portrayed in this film.
Overall thought I think this movie is really great and is an excellent step in the right direction after Spider-Man 3, unfortunately, stumbled in a lot of ways. Be sure to check out my video reviews of the film below:
and of course there’s a “spoiler-heavy” version of the review as well:
So ultimately Amazing Spider-Man was a very solid film and will be sure to entertain fans and non-fans alike and is a film I highly recommend checking out. I’d give it a solid A-